Review one lawyer's fight vs. Harris County probation officials.
Prosecutors said Monday that charges could be upgraded against a Houston couple accused of causing the death of a 19-month-old girl who was found dead in an oven with severe burns. Harris County prosecutor Stephen Driver told state District Judge Jim Wallace that a grand jury will decide the appropriate charges for Cornell Malone, 21, and his girlfriend, Racqual Thompson, 25, after investigators sort out what happened in their northeast Houston apartment. Both are in the Harris County jail, facing a maximum of two years in prison for child endangerment after allegedly leaving the toddler alone with three other children. Driver said Texas law provides stiffer penalties if the charges are upgraded, but that decision will be made after further investigation. Officials said the couple arrived home after midnight to find J'zyra Thompson inside the oven, which had tipped over, apparently trapping the child inside.
AUSTIN - Texas officials are escalating their opposition to Syrian refugees with a new order aimed specifically at resettlement groups that have indicated they will accept people fleeing the war-torn country: change your mind or risk getting sued by the state. Bee Moorhead, executive director of Texas Impact, a faith-based organization that has ties to refugee groups and has expressed concern about Abbott's position, decried the letter in an interview with the Chronicle. The letter marks another escalation in a political battle just days after federal officials formally told refugee resettlement groups in Texas and elsewhere that President Barack Obama's administration does not believe that governors can block refugees. Obama has stuck to his plan to accept up to 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next fiscal year, saying it would violate the country's values to turn people away and that there are strict protocols in place that should assuage security concerns.